My neighbor and I were just talking about where we would and would not shop for clothes, and where neither of us shopped at all when she gave me a second-hand coat that didn't fit her . . . which got me thinking about the places I boycott.
We just got a Costco membership because we refuse to give money to Wal-Mart and, therefore, Sam's Club. I haven't been inside either one in about a year. Well, now that I think about it, I may have been in a Wal-Mart once in the past 8 months, though, which was probably just a situation of poverty. But no matter how little money I have, I hope I won't go to one ever again.
You know the story — they drive out little businesses and pay their employees so little that they can barely afford to survive, but they pretend like it's okay because they offer such a great health insurance package – which none of their employees can afford. They're also sexist.
Costco doesn't sell our dog food, and Sam's does. With two dogs pushing 100 pounds each (and having a third one when Kate lived with us; her dog, I mean, not her. Tee hee), it was cost-efficient for us to buy it in bulk at Sam's. We stopped doing that a bit over a year ago when I began to wonder if it was really worth it. We can either switch food and get them something different at Costco or just keep getting it at Target.
Costco does sell IAMS dog food, though, which I will not purchase because of their animal testing. And I don't mean they have dogs eat it to ask the dogs if it's tasty; I mean they have dogs eat it then euthanise them (or sometimes they don't), cut open their skulls and bodies, and have a look at their brains and innards.
I refuse to purchase anything made by Proctor & Gamble, which isn't easy. They own so many different little companies now that I'm not even sure of which ones. I have to cross-reference charts and graphs and Web sites just to find out if I can buy a bottle of shampoo. So I usually just get the generic Target stuff.
We won't shop at PetCo, which I thought of because a new one is going up next to the Wal-Mart on Keystone, in a building which used to house a Frank's Nursery & Crafts. PetCo hires teenagers (just like Uncle Bill's and PetSmart, but PetSmart does not sell animals, they only allow shelters to adopt them out) to keep costs low and these kids are notoriously poor handlers. Thousands upon thousands of animals are mistreated, including even birds and fish, every year. I know most people don't care too much for birds and fish, but they don't deserve to die in a cage or tiny bowl just because some unknown, statistical “Consumer” out there chose not to buy them.
Plus, they buy in “bulk,” from puppy mills to save money, so you know those dogs are all blind, deaf, eating their own poo, aggressive, or just plain nuts.
I won't go to Abercrombie and Fitch because I think the're racist, sexist, and help to perpetuate poor body images. Normally I would make some joke about how I'm too fat to wear any of their clothes, but I'm really not. I happen to have a cute plaid shirt-dress that I found at a thrift store and it just so happened to come from A&F. And it's not a size XL or anything, it's a medium. Since it's second-hand and I found it before I ever knew what A&F was, I don't feel too guilty about having it, though I haven't worn it in about two years. I need to hem it up a bit so I can wear it with jeans.
We're also currently boycotting Mike's Car Wash. A friend and former football teammember of Charlie's got into quite a scuffle there. This guy, who I believe everyone calls Spoon, though I don't know why, is a very large, very intimidating-looking black guy. He works out like a maniac, so when I say large, I don't mean fat. I mean he's super-muscular. He was getting his car washed there one day when some sort of altercation occured with one of the employees. I can't remember if it was that Spoon's car got scuffed up because some dude was lazy, or if the guy intentionally did it. Either way, he got out and asked to speak to a manger. Next thing you know, the guy's up in Spoon's face (I wouldn't mess with him, and I doubt Charlie would, either, so the dude at Mike's was clearly an idiot), stepping on his feet, and calling him the “N-word.” Not cool. Not to mention kicking the bumper or something equally ridiculous.
Then the guy threatens to call the cops because Spoon tells him if he doesn't back off he'll take him down. Spoon laughs and says to go ahead and call them, because he knows he's been very careful not to touch the guy or do anything inappropriate. Turns out, unfortunately, that the cop the guy calls “just so happens,” coincidentally, to be his best pal from high school. The employee's, not Spoon's, mind you.
Suddenly the whole situation is turned around and Spoon is getting arrested and handcuffed and called all sorts of names.
He's been suspended from his job and has all sorts of legal battles ahead of him in the future because he has to a.) fight the charges of “assault” from the employee and cop — who claimed to see the whole incident b.) try and get the Mike's people to hand over video surveillance (which they eventually did, but was clearly edited, with entire minutes missing) and c.) then sue them to try and reclaim his dignity, lost paychecks, court fees, etc…
It's utterly ludicrous and I won't patronize any establishment that allows its employees to conduct themselves that way. The fact that this guy's manager is going along with it, deleting portions of video, and claiming Spoon is somehow at fault makes me sick. He's really a super-nice guy who also happens to have gone to law school, so they fkked with the wrong black dude. He even said himself that if he hadn't known more about the legal system, he'd probably be another statistic of some black guy serving time in jail for not doing anything wrong.
That was a long enough story that I think I'll stop there.